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Taerak's Void
by M. R. Mathias

$ 3.99
Kindle Edition published 2017-07-09
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Product Description
Taerak's Void
(Book One of Fantastica)
A new series by multiple award winning author, M. R. Mathias

After finding a strange medallion and some maps with markings that no one in his village can understand, Braxton Bray decides to take it all to the Hall of Scholars in the kingdom's capital. But greed is everywhere. Braxton and a tough young female caravan guard named Nixy are forced to run for their lives, for someone else wants what Braxton found and is willing to go to great lengths to take it from him.

With a hefty, kingdom wide, bounty on their heads, not even the great wizards of the Sorcerious can help them. Left with nothing but each other, Braxton and Nixy have no choice but to get on a ship and go on an adventure that will take them places they would have otherwise never imagined. Elves, dwarves, giant gothicans, and trolls, treacherous forests on distant shores, love, death, terror, and magic all await...

Author Topic: Question for romance readers/authors  (Read 1950 times)  

Offline taliwrites

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Question for romance readers/authors
« on: August 06, 2017, 01:08:30 PM »
I have a question for romance readers and authors. The heroine in my mafia romance WIP marries the hero, but they're actually enemies, don't know each other, and the only reason they married is the deal they made. The heroine has some sort of a relationship with another man, but it's just sexual, she doesn't have feelings for him, and he's her right-hand man.

Now my question is, should I avoid showing a sex scene between the heroine and another man? I planned to show it so people would see the real nature of their relationship, but then I remembered some readers don't like when other people are involved, especially when it comes to sex. If the heroine actually liked the hero from the beginning, I wouldn't even think about including something like that, but she doesn't, and I'd love to show just how different what she has with that man is from what she later has with the hero, but I don't want to upset a lot of people. I'm definitely against any sex scenes with other people once the heroine falls for the hero (unless it's a different kind of a book  ;) ), but what about before? She thinks the hero is good-looking, but she hates him because of who his family is until she gets to know him better.

What do you guys think about this?

Offline Watermelon

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2017, 02:26:31 PM »
If your book is a menage type book, then fine.  If you are writing straight up romance between a man and a woman, ABSOLUTELY NOT.  I'm speaking as a romance reader since I have no published books.  Why would I want to read about sex between the heroine and another man who is not the hero?  As a romance reader, that would really turn me off to the heroine. Maybe that would be okay in erotica (and not romance) but I'm not an erotical reader so wouldn't be able to tell you. 
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 02:31:23 PM by Watermelon »

Offline Michele_Mills

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2017, 02:44:17 PM »
You're writing a marriage of convenience trope and you want to show the h having another man as her boyfriend at the beginning and her having on page sex with him? Hmm. To be truthful, most readers will have a heart attack over this and not read your books ever again. You'll be talked about in tones of horror on "no cheating" FB reader groups where readers will warn each other to stay away from your books. But, on the other hand there are readers out there who don't mind this, where there is on page sex that H/h have with OW/OM (other woman, other man). Madeline Sheehan is a good example, she has a MC Club series that did well and whoo, lots of on page OW/OM sex. So, you'd just have to decide going in if you want to risk turning away a certain group of readers, or bring in the readers who will think like you, that it's not a big deal. But one thing to think of- the group of readers who will be turned off my the on page OM sex will be WAY BIGGER than the group that will enjoy it.

But, your question is- if you discarded the on page sex, can you still have the h have a boyfriend at the beginning during the beginning stages of her marriage of convenience, in order to illustrate the difference for the h between that relationship and the budding one between the H? I'd say yes, as long as you show that her relationship with her boyfriend is already rocky when the book starts. They haven't had sex in awhile. They don't live together, or if they do, it's really cold now- they don't even see each other much. He's cheating on her. And she breaks up with him by midway through. I've read other romances use this and have it totally work for readers.:)
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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2017, 02:50:10 PM »
As a reader, having a sex scene with someone who's not the hero would totally turn me off.  I've run into that before, and usually it makes me get more invested in the doomed relationship than I am in the supposedly happy one.  Shallow as it is, the first relationship I root for usually sticks with me. 

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2017, 02:52:18 PM »
As a reader, yes, go for it. I love love triangles and prefer them when the heroine is banging both of 'em. Even if it's actual cheating.

As an author, don't do it! You're really limiting your readership with that decision.

Offline MmmmmPie

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2017, 02:53:22 PM »
My gut feeling is that I wouldn't do it. If he's her right-hand man, she should have some sort of respect for him. Sex without feeling doesn't really reflect positively on her, and might disturb your readership, especially if you actually show her getting it on with some dude who isn't the hero.

That's just my opinion though.  Good luck in whichever route you choose!

Offline readingril

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2017, 04:13:47 PM »
I don't like infidelity, even in a marriage of convenience and it would be deal breaker for me for future books.

Offline taliwrites

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2017, 05:01:34 PM »
Thanks, everyone! It's not a menage book, and the other man isn't the heroine's boyfriend. He just filled in the position of her right-hand man after his father died, and the heroine has sex with him as a sort of friends with benefits thing, since dating someone outside her circle would be too dangerous anyway.

I thought that showing this wouldn't be upsetting since the hero and the heroine haven't fallen for each other yet, and that it would be interesting to be able to compare and see how the heroine's interaction with the hero is different, but if it upsets too many people, then I'll have to avoid that sex scene. There will be plenty of other scenes that might chase some readers away, so I dont need any more.

Offline C. Gold

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2017, 05:12:53 PM »
I think at the point where they enter into the marriage of convenience, the main focus of the story should be those two going at each other like snarling dogs and you show them gradually getting into each other. Adding stuff on the side takes away from the fun stuff you could have the main characters doing which is your final payoff. I really adore hate to lover tropes and would be annoyed at the sidetracking going on with the other guy. Besides, it's more fun to cut the other guy off and make you feel sympathy for him to where you want to read his story next.


Offline telracs

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2017, 05:33:56 PM »
your description is not ticking my definition of Romance, which has certain requirements.  Primary is a HEA or HFN (happily ever after or happily for now) between your hero and your heroine.  If her ex is the Hero and she ends up with him, then I wouldn't mind sex between them, but no sex between her and the husband.  if the husband is the hero, no sex with the ex....


Offline Rosie A.

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2017, 06:12:39 PM »
Hello, Tali. Marriage of convenience is a hot trope in romance. Honestly, it sounds even more interesting given your mafia story! However, I agree with the others here to please not include her having sex with anyone else. If her previous relationship is important to the plot somehow, then showing her detangling from this man in order to go into her marriage pure (or off to a good start, rather) would be preferable. Readers want to feel close to your heroes and, dare I say, become them during the span of the book. To throw her into such a mess would make a whole mess of things.
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Offline HSh

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2017, 06:54:40 PM »
Barbara Cartland rules still apply for most straight romance.  Doesn't matter how many people the Bad Boy HeroTM [expletive]s.  But the heroine better be virginal and innocent.   ::) 

I thought that showing this wouldn't be upsetting since the hero and the heroine haven't fallen for each other yet, and that it would be interesting to be able to compare and see how the heroine's interaction with the hero is different, but if it upsets too many people, then I'll have to avoid that sex scene. There will be plenty of other scenes that might chase some readers away, so I dont need any more.

In gay romance, you could probably get away with that.  Though some readers and authors would still shy away, to be honest, or not want to read a descriptive scene between a non end-game couple.  But it could work, it has worked, and IDK, probably it's worked in F/M as well.  Somewhere.

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Offline taliwrites

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2017, 07:02:14 PM »
Just to be clear, I'm talking about the beginning of the book. The hero and the heroine will definitely end up together, so that's not in question. However, their marriage deal isn't planned. The heroine comes up with it right before she's supposed to kill the hero. It's also a moment when a lot of emotions she's been holding in for years surface and she's not thinking clearly (don't tell her I said this ;) ). Since she still hates the hero and has no intention of ever consummating their marriage, I don't think she'd immediately forget about the other guy or pretend she was never with him. The hero would find his way to her eventually, but not right away. I can avoid the sex scene with the other guy, though, but I don't want to erase their non-relationship completely--his motives aren't really pure, so that's also a lot of fun.

Offline taliwrites

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2017, 07:15:25 PM »
Barbara Cartland rules still apply for most straight romance.  Doesn't matter how many people the Bad Boy HeroTM [expletive]s.  But the heroine better be virginal and innocent.   ::) 

One of my heroines had a notebook with a list of the guys she slept with. ;)

Offline telracs

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2017, 09:10:14 PM »
Barbara Cartland rules still apply for most straight romance.  Doesn't matter how many people the Bad Boy HeroTM [expletive]s.  But the heroine better be virginal and innocent.   ::) 


I really hope you're kidding....

No, romance readers reading books in set in modern times don't expect their heroines to be either virginal or innocent. 
But they do tend to dislike cheating in a book.  Especially if a couple is married. 

I stopped reading a series by an author I liked when she had one half of a married couple sleep with her husband's brother.  It bothered me if though the heroine and the brother end up together, and the husband in the relationship was gay and using the marriage as a cover. 

Offline HSh

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2017, 09:13:17 PM »
I'm exaggerating...a bit...and I don't read many straight romances anymore.  It just always seems to me that there are HUGE differences in what's expected of or acceptable from a hero and a heroine in M/F.

(And yeah, cheating is a no-go for me, too.  Whatever the genre.)

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2017, 09:52:31 PM »
Just to be clear, I'm talking about the beginning of the book.

I'd treat it as backstory.  You can show the reader the differences by having her question her own behaviours and what those differences mean to her.  Because the focus of Romance is on the development of the current relationship, any past sexual encounters really are best kept in the past when the story starts.

I do think if you're writing a dark, gritty romance, you can push the boundaries - but you then need to recognise you're writing for a niche audience.  If you're wanting to appeal to the masses, keep to the right side of the lines.  Neither approach is wrong - it just impacts the way your market your work.


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Offline taliwrites

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2017, 01:17:51 PM »
I'd treat it as backstory.  You can show the reader the differences by having her question her own behaviours and what those differences mean to her.  Because the focus of Romance is on the development of the current relationship, any past sexual encounters really are best kept in the past when the story starts.

I do think if you're writing a dark, gritty romance, you can push the boundaries - but you then need to recognise you're writing for a niche audience.  If you're wanting to appeal to the masses, keep to the right side of the lines.  Neither approach is wrong - it just impacts the way your market your work.

I'm probably already writing for a niche audience, but this is something I can avoid since I don't want to narrow my audience even more. I thought that a situation like this wouldn't be considered as cheating since the heroine and the hero are united only by a pesky little piece of paper, but I see now that I was wrong.

Offline DeniJackson

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2017, 01:57:59 PM »
As a reader, this wouldn't bother me. I love this sort of thing, and as long as the heroine doesn't continue that sexual relationship when she becomes more serious with the hero, then I'd greatly enjoy a story like this...in fact, I would honestly buy it off of that premise alone.

But most Romance readers might be turned off by it. If you want a bigger audience, I would avoid writing out sex scenes, and maybe the whole subplot if you really want to cast a wider net.

But the story could still do well with the other man. Some readers really enjoy seeing a heroine who is a little more sexually active, even in a marriage of convenience. Some is very different than most, though.

Offline taliwrites

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2017, 02:10:49 PM »
As a reader, this wouldn't bother me. I love this sort of thing, and as long as the heroine doesn't continue that sexual relationship when she becomes more serious with the hero, then I'd greatly enjoy a story like this...in fact, I would honestly buy it off of that premise alone.

But most Romance readers might be turned off by it. If you want a bigger audience, I would avoid writing out sex scenes, and maybe the whole subplot if you really want to cast a wider net.

But the story could still do well with the other man. Some readers really enjoy seeing a heroine who is a little more sexually active, even in a marriage of convenience. Some is very different than most, though.

That's how I feel too. Once the heroine gets interested in the hero, she'd no longer be with the other guy. But, as you say, a lot of readers would be turned off and since I already know there will be more scenes that will turn people off, I'm going to avoid the sex scene. I'm not going to get rid of the whole subplot, though, because I really like it.

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2017, 02:19:14 PM »
I'm exaggerating...a bit...and I don't read many straight romances anymore.  It just always seems to me that there are HUGE differences in what's expected of or acceptable from a hero and a heroine in M/F.

(And yeah, cheating is a no-go for me, too.  Whatever the genre.)

Yeah, I wouldn't say readers expect virgin heroines, but there are still a lot of readers who are quick to write off slutty heroines while they'll gladly embrace manwhore heroes. Generally, romance readers are really hard on heroines and let heroes get away with murder (sometimes literally).

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2017, 06:15:50 PM »
I like your idea, OP - it reminds me of a S/L that was on a soap opera a few years ago. I don't really have any advice because it seems like I'm not that in tune with what romance readers expect.

Yeah, I wouldn't say readers expect virgin heroines, but there are still a lot of readers who are quick to write off slutty heroines while they'll gladly embrace manwhore heroes. Generally, romance readers are really hard on heroines and let heroes get away with murder (sometimes literally).

Now I'm really glad my WIP genre hopped to UF because it's established that my female MC pretty much slept with every vampire that came through town.

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2017, 01:14:17 AM »
Am I allowed to be offended that the Hero is represented by a great big capital H, while the heroine has only a teeny weeny little h?


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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2017, 01:33:28 AM »
I think this could work because it is a mafia romance. As someone stated, many MC romance books show sex with someone else at the beginning.
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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2017, 07:30:05 AM »
I like the idea & think it could work if crafted well. As a reader, it doesn't bother me, although I know some readers are adamant it shouldn't be done.
I had a storyline in my first book where the heroine believed the hero was dead, married another man for protection and had sex, and then the hero came back for her. It became a tangled storyline and the hero/heroine struggled to work out their issues over it, and the "other man" ended up as a complex character with his own part in the story. The majority of reviewers enjoyed the storyline. It was a hisotical and part of a four-book series, so I suppose genre plays a part, but if you feel strongly about it and confident you can craft it, then I say go for it.
Sometime I think it is worth it to press the boundaries and expectations within a genre. With romance, it's not just about a HAE; it's about how they fought and traveled to get there, and giving the reader a heavy dose of satisfaction when the characters finally make it. Plenty of people fall in love, have minor issues, and then live a happy life, which is great. But creating characters who have to conquer things that would tear the rest of us mere mortals to pieces can make an ordinary HAE into something epic.
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Offline Rena Arun

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2017, 07:50:50 AM »
Wow, what an interesting question and what a lot of cans of worms it opens up!

I think you could get away with this opening scenario in a thriller, but for romance you'd be treading on a lot of idealizations we like to harbor. And as much as we like to push the envelope on talk shows and realty TV, the romance genre is for fantasy. A fantasy in which there aren't too many grey areas, in fact none at all when it comes to sexuality. The hero can never be anything but completely satisfying to the heroine and vice versa. And sex is still sacred to the hero/heroine alone. Which is why having divorced women (as opposed to widowed, for ex.) is extremely problematic for a successful romance that appeals to a broad readership. The genre is full of all sorts of ideals that we see transgressed in the real world daily but we won't tolerate in our fantasies.

But like I said, such an opening would work perfectly well in a thriller.

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2017, 09:53:02 AM »
Wow, what an interesting question and what a lot of cans of worms it opens up!

I think you could get away with this opening scenario in a thriller, but for romance you'd be treading on a lot of idealizations we like to harbor. And as much as we like to push the envelope on talk shows and realty TV, the romance genre is for fantasy. A fantasy in which there aren't too many grey areas, in fact none at all when it comes to sexuality. The hero can never be anything but completely satisfying to the heroine and vice versa. And sex is still sacred to the hero/heroine alone. Which is why having divorced women (as opposed to widowed, for ex.) is extremely problematic for a successful romance that appeals to a broad readership. The genre is full of all sorts of ideals that we see transgressed in the real world daily but we won't tolerate in our fantasies.

But like I said, such an opening would work perfectly well in a thriller.
Huh? I've written plenty of divorced heroines and my books have a broad readership. I've also written heroines and heroes who were involved with/engaged to somebody else when they meet the hero/heroine (and having sex). Ditto for heroes. But once they start getting romantically involved (dating or just very interested), they break up with the other person.

In my experience romance readers judge about the same as women do in real life, toward men or women. If you're getting involved with somebody else, you break up first. And cheating is crappy.

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2017, 10:09:13 AM »
Nobody is saying that people in life don't cheat, lie, and do all kinds of awful things. Just that you wouldn't write those people as romance protagonists. Just as you probably wouldn't write your neighbor Bob as the hero of an action thriller.

Flawed heroes and heroines are great. The reader just has to believe that this person is capable (or realistically becomes capable) of sustaining a loving lifelong relationship with the other person. Any of us who have been around for a while probably know what that kind of relarionship ought to look like. If rife with misunderstandings, anger, drama, and lack of communication, a happily ever after doesn't look realistic. 

That said there's a market for high drama romance that wouldn't look like it would realistically go the distance. Know your audience.

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2017, 12:59:28 PM »
Huh? I've written plenty of divorced heroines and my books have a broad readership. I've also written heroines and heroes who were involved with/engaged to somebody else when they meet the hero/heroine (and having sex). Ditto for heroes. But once they start getting romantically involved (dating or just very interested), they break up with the other person.

In my experience romance readers judge about the same as women do in real life, toward men or women. If you're getting involved with somebody else, you break up first. And cheating is crappy.
Same here, only with reading them. I don't see why divorce is a bad thing since that was a failed marriage, the guy did something wrong (talking heroine here), he cheated or something and definitely wasn't as good in the sack as the hero once they get together.

The only important thing is that once the H/h are together, there's no cheating, they are made for each other, and no other relationship came close to what they have now. That includes past boyfriends, girlfriends, and marriages.

Cheating is indeed crappy - it's the single best way to destroy a person's self-esteem and obliterates their trust in the other person. There's no coming out of that with a HEA, not in a single book and probably not ever. I've stopped reading a very popular series as soon as cheating was being considered because it's my line in the sand. I can't stand seeing authors make light of something so devastating to people in real life. No, I wasn't cheated on but I've seen what it does to others around me.

With that said, I don't see having sex with a friend while in a fake arranged marriage cheating until the h/H begin to fall for each other. I was merely more interested in the hate to love relationship, but if the book is long enough and includes the other that could work if handled delicately.

Oh and H is the guy because it's taller and thicker than h for the woman and h has a more shapely look to it, while H looks like some caveman drew it!  ;) :D

Offline elizabethbarone

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2017, 02:27:24 PM »
The only on-the-page sex that should be happening is between the heroine and hero. It turns readers off, otherwise. You can work it in off the page, though; I've seen plenty of storylines where there was someone else in the beginning but the hero snags her, or they break up and see other people in between. It just has to be handled properly. Your readers are supposed to be rooting for the hero, after all, and sex between the heroine and hero is viewed as a payoff for cheering them on. It's essentially a consummation of the HEA (even if it happens before they decide to be together forever), if that makes sense.

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Offline Michele_Mills

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #30 on: August 08, 2017, 02:58:52 PM »
Am I allowed to be offended that the Hero is represented by a great big capital H, while the heroine has only a teeny weeny little h?
I think most of my romance reading/writing peers are kinda horrified that I persist in my "old fashioned" use of H/h. Most people nowadays tend to use h/h to make sure it represents an equal power dynamic. I still use H/h though as purely an organizational tool to keep Hero and heroine apart. I talk alot on Twitter and if you use h/h in tweets its easy to start getting all mixed up on whether you're talking about Hero or heroine. So finally I said, oh, forget it, I'm using H/h and that's it! I feel comfortable doing this because I know that it's not because I place more value upon the Hero, it's just a visual for me, a way to differentiate between the two. And since on average, men are taller than women, in my head it makes sense they'd have the taller H. Although maybe I should start using h/H if I put the two together, to signify equality? Hmm...:)

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #31 on: August 08, 2017, 03:40:59 PM »
I think most of my romance reading/writing peers are kinda horrified that I persist in my "old fashioned" use of H/h. Most people nowadays tend to use h/h to make sure it represents an equal power dynamic. I still use H/h though as purely an organizational tool to keep Hero and heroine apart. I talk alot on Twitter and if you use h/h in tweets its easy to start getting all mixed up on whether you're talking about Hero or heroine. So finally I said, oh, forget it, I'm using H/h and that's it! I feel comfortable doing this because I know that it's not because I place more value upon the Hero, it's just a visual for me, a way to differentiate between the two. And since on average, men are taller than women, in my head it makes sense they'd have the taller H. Although maybe I should start using h/H if I put the two together, to signify equality? Hmm...:)
I'll continue to use h/H. For me its not old fashioned. Its just an easy way to use an abbreviation. We romance readers/writers know how many abbreviations there are, don't we. If we had to spell all those out, we'd never have time to read.  :P

H/h is also helpful for me since I can then also talk about h/h or H/H. Don't think I'll have to explain that one.  ;D

Once we get into menages and such, I tend to use m/m/f, m/f/m, etc.

Just something that is known, been used a lot and just easier to continue using.

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Offline taliwrites

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2017, 03:49:12 PM »
Now I'm doubting my decision again. The heroine will be with the other guy only for the first few chapters, if that, and they're not officially in a relationship. I don't think the heroine would immediately fall for or even be interested in the hero, especially since his family killed hers and vice versa. There is a clause in their marriage deal that says she can use the hero for sex if she wants to, but she's not going to do that, and she's hoping she'll finally find happiness, so I think she would first try to achieve that with the other guy who's been with her for years. She thinks her thirst for revenge doesn't allow her to feel anything else, but once she gets it, there's only a void, and I want to show it to her that the other guy can't fill it in any way, and that with them it has always been just sex and business, nothing more. I suppose I can leave out the actual sex scene and have her think about it. Or maybe I should flip a coin.  ;)

By the way, I don't like to use H/h because I got it wrong the first time I heard it and I'm still mad about it. ;)

Offline C. Gold

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #33 on: August 08, 2017, 03:53:19 PM »
Is it in the contract that they can both sleep around?

Offline taliwrites

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2017, 04:11:52 PM »
Is it in the contract that they can both sleep around?

No. There isn't anything about that in the contract.

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2017, 04:30:29 PM »
Now I'm doubting my decision again. The heroine will be with the other guy only for the first few chapters, if that, and they're not officially in a relationship. I don't think the heroine would immediately fall for or even be interested in the hero, especially since his family killed hers and vice versa. There is a clause in their marriage deal that says she can use the hero for sex if she wants to, but she's not going to do that, and she's hoping she'll finally find happiness, so I think she would first try to achieve that with the other guy who's been with her for years. She thinks her thirst for revenge doesn't allow her to feel anything else, but once she gets it, there's only a void, and I want to show it to her that the other guy can't fill it in any way, and that with them it has always been just sex and business, nothing more. I suppose I can leave out the actual sex scene and have her think about it. Or maybe I should flip a coin.  ;)

By the way, I don't like to use H/h because I got it wrong the first time I heard it and I'm still mad about it. ;)

Write it, and see what you think.  Or test it on some betas. There's nothing saying you have to include everything you try in the final draft ;)


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Offline Jena H

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #36 on: August 08, 2017, 04:33:05 PM »
Am I allowed to be offended that the Hero is represented by a great big capital H, while the heroine has only a teeny weeny little h?

Certainly you're "allowed" to be offended at anything; nobody is going to stop anyone else from feeling offended.  But as others have noted, H/h has been used for a long time to differentiate the characters, so it's not only easy to understand, but also common in the romance book discussion world.  I don't write romance and rarely even read it anymore, but on the few occasions when it comes up, I use the H / h reference.


I'll continue to use h/H. For me its not old fashioned. Its just an easy way to use an abbreviation. We romance readers/writers know how many abbreviations there are, don't we. If we had to spell all those out, we'd never have time to read.  :P

H/h is also helpful for me since I can then also talk about h/h or H/H. Don't think I'll have to explain that one.  ;D

Once we get into menages and such, I tend to use m/m/f, m/f/m, etc.


Just something that is known, been used a lot and just easier to continue using.

Very true!
Jena

Offline telracs

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #37 on: August 08, 2017, 05:12:58 PM »
Write it, and see what you think.  Or test it on some betas. There's nothing saying you have to include everything you try in the final draft ;)

i think is the best advice. write it and get it out of your system

Offline Melody Simmons

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #38 on: August 09, 2017, 03:56:14 AM »
Yeah, I wouldn't say readers expect virgin heroines, but there are still a lot of readers who are quick to write off slutty heroines while they'll gladly embrace manwhore heroes. Generally, romance readers are really hard on heroines and let heroes get away with murder (sometimes literally).

It's immensely annoying but that is how most readers are.  I am the opposite - can't stand it if a heroine is the innocent little virgin whilst the man has slept with other women before he discovers his one-and-only love who so selflessly saved herself up for him, even though he thoroughly enjoyed himself.  That is just sooo sexist and biased in my view, so I really enjoy it when it is the other way round, or on equal levels!  But then I am very much the exception.  Really very much the exception!

Offline BellaJames

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #39 on: August 09, 2017, 06:24:10 AM »

 There are romance books with arranged relationships between two men and a woman. There are a few odd books were the woman is trying to choose between two men but she might not be having a sexual relationship with them both. Even Hallmark movies have those storylines now.

If she's supposed to marry a guy connected to the mafia but she's in love with another man, I would find a way for her to get out of her arrangement and marry the man she really wants. Or make her fall in love with the mafia guy and it could be a enemies to friends book.


Alessandra Torre and Mia Asher have both done a good job of writing books with love triangles but be aware that many romance readers don't like it and they can be extremely vocal on Goodreads about it.

Look here: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/61334.Sexy_love_triangles

Offline Huldra

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #40 on: August 09, 2017, 08:32:58 AM »
"Question for romance readers/authors" Hooboy *straps on safety vest before plunging in*

It's your book, you can write it exactly how you want it. As long as you do so knowing that certain artistic choices will limit your audience, not just for this book but potentially the life of your pen name.

Having the heroine sleep with another man after she's met the hero will limit your audience quite drastically. A lot of readers simply don't like it, end of discussion. You won't see any dollars from them, not now, not the next time they come across your pen name on a cover and remember you're the author who had your heroine bang a a man on the side, even though she was married to another.

However, that doesn't mean that there aren't readers who DO like exactly that brand of romance. Targeting them as your sub-niche might be worth losing the broader romance market. It really depends what you see your brand being going forward.

Offline taliwrites

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2017, 03:20:00 PM »
Okay, so I've decided not to include the sex scene with the other guy. Thanks to everyone who commented, and special thanks to the guy from a news site comment section who'll never find out he inspired me instead of making me angry. ;)

Offline Shimmergirl69

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Re: Question for romance readers/authors
« Reply #42 on: August 13, 2017, 05:46:02 AM »
From the stand point of a reader the hero and heroine should only be for each other (sexually) I think if the hero/heroine had sex with other people it would change my perception of them. Especially the heroine.

As a writer I think that's why one of my books bombed. My heroine was too involved with her male friend and though they never had sex-her friend put her in a compromising position.
My reasoning for her character was to keep up with the times. I know some women juggle a couple of men at once. But in a romance novel, eh, probably not.

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